Come and Welcome
Revelation 22:17
And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that hears say, Come. And let him that is thirsty come. And whoever will…

The cry of the Christian religion is the simple word "come." The Jewish law said, "Go, and take heed unto thy steps as to the path in which thou shalt walk. Go, and break the commandments, and thou shalt perish; go, and keep them, and thou shalt live." The law repels; the gospel attracts.

I. THERE IS A "WATER OF LIFE." Man is utterly ruined and undone. He is lost in a wild waste wilderness. The skin bottle of his righteousness is all dried up, and there is not so much as a drop of water in it. Must he perish? He looks aloft, beneath, around, and he discovers no means of escape. Must thirst devour him? No; for the text declares there is a fountain of life. Ordained in old eternity by God in solemn covenant, this fountain, this Divine well, takes its spring from the deep foundations of God's decrees. This sacred fountain, established according to God's good will and pleasure in the covenant, opened by Christ when He died upon the Cross, floweth this day to give life and health and joy and peace to poor sinners dead in sin and ruined by the fall. There is a "water of life." By this water of life is intended God's free grace, God's love for men, so that if you come and drink, you shall find this to be life indeed to your soul, for in drinking of God's grace you inherit God's love, you are reconciled to God, God stands in a fatherly relation to you, He loves you, and His great infinite heart yearns towards you. Again, it is living water not simply because it is love, and that is life, but it saves from impending death. Come hither then, ye sin-doomed; this water can wash away your sins, and when your sins are washed away, then shall ye live; for the innocent must not be punished. Here is water that can make you whiter than driven snow. "But," saith the poor convicted soul, "this is not all I want, for if all the sins I have ever committed were blotted out, in one ten minutes I should commit many more. If I were now completely pardoned, it would not be many seconds before I should destroy my soul and sink helplessly again." Ay! but see here, this is living water, it can quench thy thirst of sin; entering into thy soul it shall overcome and cover with its floods thy propensities to evil. This is life indeed, for here is favour, here is pardon, here is sanctity, the renewing of the soul by the washing of water through the Word. "But," saith one, "I have a longing within me which I cannot satisfy. I feel sure that if I be pardoned yet there is something which I want — which nothing I have ever heard of, or have ever seen or handled, can satisfy. I have within me an aching void which the world can never fill." But hearken! thou that art wretched and miserable, here is living water that can quench thy thirst. Come hither and drink, and thou shalt be satisfied; for he that is a believer in Christ finds enough for him in Christ now, and enough for ever. You shall never thirst again, except it be that you shall long for deeper draughts of this living fountain. And, moreover, he who drinketh of this living water shall never die. His body shall see corruption for a little while, but his soul, mounting aloft, shall dwell with Jesus. Yea! and his very body, when it has passed through the purifying process, shall rise again more glorious than when it was sown in weakness. It shall rise in glory, in honour, in power, in majesty, and united with the soul, it shall everlastingly inherit the joys which Christ has prepared for them that love Him.

II. THE INVITATION IS VERY WIDE — "WHOSOEVER WILL, LET HIM TAKE THE WATER OF LIFE FREELY.'' The one question I have to ask is, art thou willing? if so, Christ bids thee take the water of life. Art thou willing? if so, be pardoned, be sanctified, be made whole. For if thou art willing Christ is willing too, and thou art freely invited to come and welcome to the fountain of life and grace. Now mark, the question has to do with the will. "Oh," says one, "I am so foolish I cannot understand the plan of salvation, therefore I may not come and drink." But my question has nothing to do with your understanding, it has to do with your will. You may be as big a fool as you will, but if you are willing to come to Christ you are freely invited. "Oh," says one, "I can understand the plan of salvation, but I cannot repent as I would. Sir, my heart is so hard I cannot bring the tear to my eye. I cannot feel my sins as I would desire." Ay, but this text has nothing to do with your heart; it is with your will. Are you willing? Then be your heart hard as the nether millstone, if thou art willing to be saved I am bidden to invite thee. "Whosoever will," not "whosoever feels," but "whosoever will, let him come and take the water of life freely." "Yes," says one, "I can honestly say I am willing, but my heart will not soften. I wish that grace would change me. I can say I wish that Christ would soften my heart. I am willing." Well, then, the text is for thee, "Whosoever will, let him come." If thou art willing thou art freely invited to Christ. "No," saith one, "but I am such a great sinner. I have been a drunkard; I have been a lascivious man; I have gone far astray from the paths of rectitude. I would not have all my sins known to my fellow creatures. How can God accept of such a wretch as I am, such a foul creature as I have been?" Mark thee, man! There is no reference made here to thy past life. It simply says, "whosoever will." Art thou willing? "Ah!" saith one, "God knows I am willing, but still I do not think I am worthy." No, I know you are not, but what is that to do with it? It is not, "whosoever is worthy," but "whosoever will, let him come." "Well," says one, "I believe that whosoever will may come, but not me, for I am the vilest sinner out of hell." But hark thee, sinner, it says, "whosoever." What a big word that is! Whosoever! There is no standard-height here. It is of any height and any size.

III. HOW CLEAR THE PATH IS, "WHOSOEVER WILL, LET HIM TAKE THE WATER OF LIFE FREELY." That word "let" is a very curious word, because it signifies two opposite things. "Let" is an old-fashioned word which sometimes signifies "hinder." "He that letteth shall be taken away" — that is, "He that hindereth." But here, in our text, it means the removing of all hindrance. "Let him come" — methinks I hear Jehovah speaking this. Here is the fountain of love and mercy. But you are too unworthy, you are too vile. Hear Jehovah! He cries, "Let him come, he is willing. Stand back! doubts and fears; away with you, let him come; make a straight road; let him come if he be but willing." Then the devil himself comes forward, and striding across the way, he says to the poor trembling soul, "I will spill thy blood; thou shalt never have mercy. I defy thee; thou shalt never believe in Christ, and never be saved." But Christ says, "Let him come"; and Satan, strong though he be, quails beneath Jehovah's voice, and Jesus drives him away, and the path stands clear, nor can sin, nor death, nor hell, block up the way when Jehovah Jesus says, "Let him come." Standing one day in the court-house, some witness was required, I forget his name; it may have been Brown, for instance, in one moment the name was announced, "Brown, Samuel Brown"; by and by twenty others take up the cry, "Samuel Brown, Samuel Brown." There was seen a man pushing his way through; "Make room," said he, "make room, his honour calls me," and though there were many in his path they gave way, because his being called was a sufficient command to them, not to hinder him, but to let him come. And now, soul, if thou be a willing sinner, though thy name is not mentioned — if thou be a willing sinner, thou art as truly called as though thou wert called by name, and therefore, push through thy fears. Make elbow room, and come; they that would stop thee are craven cowards. He has said, "Let him come," and they cannot keep you back; Jehovah has said, "Let him come," and it is yours now to say, "I will come.

IV. THE CONDITION WHICH IS THE DEATH OF ALL CONDITIONS — LET HIM TAKE IT FREELY. Methinks I see one here who is saying, "I would be saved and I will do what I can to be worthy of it." The fountain is free, and he comes with his halfpenny in his hand, and that a bad one, and he says, "Here, sir, give me a cup of this living water to drink; I am well worthy of it, for see the price is in my hand." Why, man, if thou could'st bring the wealth of Potosi, or all the diamonds of Galconda, and all the pearls of Ormuz, you could not buy this most costly thing. Put up your money, you could not have it for gold or silver. The man brings his merit: but heaven is not to be sold to meritmongers. Or perhaps you say, "I will go to church regularly, I will give to the poor, I will attend my meeting-house, I will take a sitting, I will be baptized, I will do this and the other, and then no doubt I shall have the water of life." Back, miserable herd, bring not your rags and rubbish to God, He wants them not. Stand back, you insult the Almighty when you tender anything as payment. Back with ye; He invites not such as you to come. He says come freely. He wants nothing to recommend you. He needs no recommendation. You want no good works. Do not bring any. But you have no good feelings. Nevertheless you are willing, therefore come. He wants no good feelings of you. You have no belief and no repentance, yet nevertheless you are willing. Do not try to get them yourself — come to Him, and He will give them to you. Come just as you are; it is "freely," "without money and without price." "Whosoever will, let him come." Let him bring nothing to recommend him. Let him not imagine he can give any payment to God, or any ransom for his soul; for the one condition that excludes all conditions is, "Let him come and take the water of life freely." There is a man of God here who has drank of the river of the water of life many times; but he says, " I want to know more of Christ, I want to have nearer fellowship with Him; I want to enter more closely into the mystery of His sacrifice; I want to understand more and more of the fellowship of His sufferings, and to be made conformable unto His death." Well, believer, drink freely. You have filled your bowl of faith once, and you drank the draught off; fill it again, drink again, and keep on drinking. Put your mouth to the fountain if you will drink right on. As good Rutherford says in one of his letters, "I have been sinking my bucket down into the well full often, but now my thirst after Christ has become so insatiable that I long to put the well itself to my lips and drain it all, and drink right on." Well, take it freely as much as ever you can.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

WEB: The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" He who hears, let him say, "Come!" He who is thirsty, let him come. He who desires, let him take the water of life freely.

Christ's Last Invitation from the Throne
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